Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A potential all-star...

Week of 3/28:

Cycling back and forth through the stacks of comic books/graphic novels at the local Newbury Comics is quite the task. As you move from left to right in a logical A-Z order, somewhere in the middle it resets back to a random letter you had thought you previously passed. Keep in mind that every path my brain tends to go down to try and put some order to the chaos that is the comics rack seems to end up in some kind of Winchester home-esque hallway.

Basically I am trying to find a copy of Image Comics' "Pax Romana". The first issue is available for your reading purposes on Hickman's website here. It has some pretty over the top graphic design elements, and for people who like to know EVERYTHING there is to know about characters you may very well never see again, this comic will make you run down the street giving out high fives to strangers. In all seriousness, the artwork is certainly engaging albeit a bit busy at times given the random brushstrokes and the total absence of any kind of background artwork.

I'll be checking out Baron's in Bridgewater to see if there's anything else that I have not been able to find in the disorganized mess that is the Newbury's rack.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm looking for a dead end song...

Week In Review 3/21/08:

In Comics:
So I finally managed to get a hold of Image Comics' Issue 1 of "Dead Space". For those of you out there have seen horror or thiller movies that are set in space (ie. "Event Horizon", "Alien", "Sunshine", etc.), the creepiness factor is somehow magnified. Whether it be because space is a cold, dark place, or if it is because there is so much that is uknown about the dark reaches of the galaxy, having anything set in space amps up the scare factor quite a bit.

Enter this interesting comic, which explains the backstory for the upcoming Halloween '08 release of the Electronic Arts game of the same name. If you have managed to catch the trailer, you know that at some point, for some reason, something on a ship named the "Ishimura" went terribly wrong. What used to be a vastly populated craft now has a sole survivor, the individual you control in the game. What is not quite revealed is the reason why there are dead people/things floating around in zero g. That is where this short comic series comes into play. This first issue does not accomplish a great deal, and naturally it is difficult to connect the dots in the story this early. It does, however, definitely lay the groundwork for the next five issues to expand on.

So far, the story breaks down like this: A privately owned space station on an unknown planet is populated by miners mining for whatever it is miners mine for in the future. To the surprise of many people in the station, an obelisk of some value to a newly developed and popular religion is discovered by an archealogical team. All the while, two detectives are investigating the rash of violence that is rearing its ugly head throughout the station since the discovery of the obelisk. There are also those wacky religious zealots seeking to tap into the power of this new found artifact, who are bound to unleash something great and horrible onto the populace, which based on the creatures seen in the Dead Space Trailer, are pretty spooky.

The artwork is fantastic, and fans of the "30 Days of Night" graphic novel series or Ben Templesmith in general will feel right at home with its slightly exaggerated character features and lack of coloring (except some very bold reds). I was left feeling curious as to what would happen next, but I have not yet been engrossed with the story (like with "Mice Templar" or "Walking Dead"). Hopefully the next few issues will draw me into the story enough to want to play the video game when it releases in October, I'll pick things up with Issue #2 though for sure!

Seal of Approval: YES
Artwork: 4.5/5
Writing: 3/5
Replayability: 3.5/5
Buy It: YES
Mini-Review: Worth picking up if you're a fan of survival horror video games and/or the lore that surround them, or if you're just a fan of Ben Templesmith's style, the story definitely has potential to go somewhere, let's hope it gets there.